Mac News Review

Boot Camp Beta Expires with Leopard Release, Macs Left Behind by Leopard, the Future of PowerPC and OS X, and More

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2007.10.05

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

We're entering the Age of Leopard: Apple has announced that the Boot Camp Beta officially expires when Leopard ships later this month, everyone is wondering what G4 hardware will and won't be supported, and software and peripherals that require Leopard are already coming to market.

At the same time, some are wondering if Mac OS X 10.6 will continue support for PowerPC Macs. It the development cycle is as long as Leopard's was (Tiger is 2-1/2 years old), the last PowerPC Macs may be five years old before it ships.

On the software front, Mailplane lets you access Gmail from the desktop, which sounds very cool, DrawIt 3 tries to take off where FreeHand and Illustrator once reigned, and AOL is working on AOL Desktop for Mac, which will be ready for Leopard and can be downloaded in beta.

PowerBook, iBook, MacBook, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Reviews

Apple Updates

Products

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

Boot Camp Beta Expires with Leopard Release

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"As indicated in the license agreement for Boot Camp Beta, the Boot Camp Beta program expires when Mac OS 10.5 Leopard becomes available publicly in October, 2007.

"Boot Camp Beta 1.2 or earlier expiration

"The license to use Boot Camp Beta 1.2 or earlier expires on September 30, 2007 (2007-09-30). Boot Camp Assistant Beta will no longer open after expiration.

"To continue using Boot Camp Beta for Microsoft Windows on your Intel-based Mac, you'll need to update to Boot Camp Beta 1.4, until Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard is available.

"Boot Camp Beta 1.3, 1.4 expiration

"The license to use Boot Camp Beta expires when Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard is available to the public. To continue using Boot Camp at that time, upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

"Important: Apple does not provide technical phone support for using Boot Camp Beta, burning the Macintosh Drivers CD, or installing Windows. Support is available on Apple's website. Fee-based support agreements are not available for Boot Camp Beta."

Editor's note: Apple does not state that Boot Camp Beta 1.3 and 1.4 will be unusable, only that the license to use them expires. As Alan Zisman points out in Boot Camp users have nothing to fear from Leopard's delay, you should still be able to boot into Windows even if Boot Camp has expired. dk

Leopard: Will 67 MHz Matter?

Hardmac's Lionel says:

"In the last Leopard beta version, Apple modified the minimal hardware specification required to perform the installation. Its moves from a G4 800 MHz to 867 MHz-based hardware. If this decision was taken to ensure an as smooth and responsive interface as possible, it also will kick many users out of Leopard loop for only 67 MHz which at the end probably did not really change much (performance wise)."

Can Leopard Be Installed on an 800 MHz Machine?

The AppleBlog's Stephanie Guertin says:

"I have a vintage 800 MHz iMac G4. There, I've said it, and wow, does that sound strange to me. I love my iMac - remember those commercials where it stuck its 'tongue' out at the guy on the sidewalk? - and I was very excited to hear, initially, that I could put Leopard on it....

"So when Apple decided that Leopard would only officially support 867 MHz or higher machines now, I was heartbroken. I'm not alone here, either...."

Thoughts on Installing Leopard on Unsupported Hardware

The Inquirer's Liam Proven reports:

"Hope springs eternal. Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 - not-very-secretly-at-all codenamed 'Leopard' - isn't even out yet, but hacks for it are starting to appear.

"As we revealed a couple of days ago, Apple has raised the bar still further for Mac-o-philes who fancy upgrading to the latest OS X - whenever it finally appears. The last we've heard, you're going to need a G4 running at a minimum of 867 MHz. That rules out a lot of fairly recent machines: lots of early G4 desktops, the first three generations of flat-screen 'anglepoise lamp' G4 iMacs, the first two generations of eMac, the first generation of 12-inch iBook G4 and most of the Titanium PowerBooks. Of the eight revisions of the Tit, only the last two are fast enough; if you've got a 400, 500, 550, 667 or 800 MHz machine, well, it's tough tit for you, really.

"But that's only the official line.

"What the OS X installer does isn't check how fast your processor is running; it looks at the model number of your Mac and compares it to a list of 'bad' machines that are officially rated as too slow. So if you've got an upgraded CPU and your box is actually fast enough, well, it won't work....

"There are several ways around this, though...."

"t looks like Leopard is compiled without support for G3 processors, so it probably will never run on G3 machines unless they've got a G4 upgrade installed...."

The Future of Mac OS X on PowerPC

Roughly Drafted's Daniel Eran Dilger says:

"How long will Apple continue to support existing models of Macs in the latest version of Mac OS X? Previous versions of Apple's OS have drawn the line for officially supported Macs based on practical considerations, rather than just being arbitrary or artificial. Here's what the past suggests for Mac OS X Leopard and the version that comes after it....

"In 2004, Mac OS X Tiger 10.4 retained support for most New World Macs using G3 processors, but required support for built-in FireWire. Again, this wasn't related to a need for FireWire ports, but rather a way to exclude support for the earliest of the now five year old New World Macs, which Apple decided would not run Tiger acceptably, including:

"For Leopard, Apple is specifying an 867 MHz G4. That excludes support for the now functionally obsolete G3s, and draws a line down the middle of the 2001 'Quicksilver' PowerMac G4s, excluding support for the 2001 G4 Cube and the first three generations of the Titanium PowerBook G4 up to late 2002. This again maintains official support for five to six years of Mac models.

"Is Leopard the Last Hurrah for Power PC Macs?

"The reports of PowerPC's obsolescence have been greatly exaggerated. Last year, the rumor was that Leopard would be released only for Intel Macs. This year, with Leopard looming on the horizon, the new rumor is that Mac OS X 10.6 - possibly named Lynx or Cougar - will be Intel-only. However this is only uninformed speculation....

"The majority of the installed base of around 22 million Macs is PowerPC; less than 10 million are Intel Macs. Apple has started to sell dramatically more new Macs at a faster rate over the last couple years - displacing the PowerPC majority more rapidly - but there will still be a lot of PowerPC Macs well into 2010. Worrying about 10.6 or even 10.7 being Intel-only shouldn't be among anyone's greatest concerns."

Adding a Cooling Fan to the Cube's Video Card

ATPM's Matthew Glidden says:

"Back in ATPM 13.05, I upgraded my venerable Mac Cube with an XFX GeForce 6200 video card. Its high performance and dual-monitor support proved a significant boost to my desktop work. Losing it would be a big step back, but that's almost what happened last month. For the reader without time, a quick summary: one fan good, two fans better.

"After the May installation of my new video card, I occasionally ran Bresink Software-Systeme's Temperature Monitor to keep tabs on my system. The already-upgraded CPU and new GPU generated significant heat, and I wanted to keep an eye on things - even a ten-degree Celsius jump can radically reduce your system life.

"My Cube's base 80mm fan, similar to the Panaflow mentioned in May's article, pushes air around the entire case. Indeed, I thought it would be plenty for the long-term. Wrong! A few months in, the Boston summer reached 95 degrees, quietly raising my office's baseline temperature and setting the table for later problems.

"In mid-August, the Cube's video riser board gave off a disconcerting snap, crackle, and pop. Quick inspection showed a scorched capacitor that only replacement could fix. Though that sounds really bad, I actually lucked out. That particular component only costs $10 on eBay from a parts reseller and sits right on top, easy to find. The heat could've shorted something much more valuable, and it would've been time for a new Mac. A crash course on cooling told me the truth-I needed another fan just to handle the video card and its high-energy GPU."

Link: Adding a Cooling Fan to the Mac Cube's Video Card

Open Source Development Goes Mac-tastic

The Register's Phil Manchester reports:

"There is no small irony in the prospect that Apple's Macintosh - arguably the ultimate in closed and proprietary systems, at least until the Intel alliance - could become the open source development platform of choice.

"The Register has spotted increasing numbers of Macs at open source developer events during the last year. And next month should see the long-awaited (and much delayed) full release of Mac OS X 10.5 which Steve Jobs has been bigging up all year as the 'most compliant' Posix/Unix implementation."

Reviews

Fusion 1.0: The New Kid on the 'Windows on Mac' Block

Macworld's Rob Griffiths reports:

"You may need (or want) to run Windows, or other operating systems, alongside Mac OS X, and Parallels Desktop is the best-known of several programs on the market for that purpose. (Full native Windows support, of course, is also available via Apple's Boot Camp, but it requires you to reboot out of OS X and into Windows.) A new-to-the-Mac player now brings a formidable challenger to the arena, however. VMware, an expert in x86 virtualization - that is, the ability to run one or more x86 operating systems as 'guests' under a 'host' x86 operating system - has released Fusion 1.0, its first OS X offering. Like Parallels, Fusion allows you to run many versions of Windows and other operating systems from within OS X. And unlike Boot Camp, you don't have to log out and restart in order to use it."

First Thoughts on the 24-inch Aluminum iMac

The Houston Chronicle's Dwight Silverman says:

"On Saturday, I swallowed hard and opened my wallet wide, buying a 24-inch aluminum iMac needed to write my next book. I'd already been playing with one, a slightly more powerful model Apple sent me for review.

"Several TechBlog readers have asked me specific questions about it in comments and e-mail, and I'll try to answer most of them via some early impressions of the two machines.

"The new iMacs have a glossy screen, which also was a controversial addition to the MacBook line. In the iMac, there's a sheet of glass over the LCD, and some potential buyers have worried about the glare factor. I've got the iMac in a room with a big window, and for a while I had it positioned so it faced that window. I was able to tilt its position in such a way that glare was not a problem, and what glare there was proved to be minimal. For me at least, this is not an issue.

"In fact, this is, without a doubt, the nicest computer display I've ever seen in an all-in-one unit. The colors are vivid, text is sharp and having 24-inches of screen real estate is luxurious. In fact, I find I prefer a single 24-inch screen over the dual 19-inch displays on my Vista PC."

Apple Updates

New iMac Startup Tones

An updated Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"iMac (Mid 2007) computers, unlike other Macintosh computers, do not use the power LED to indicate there is an issue. iMac (Mid 2007) computers use tones instead."

About Firmware Updates for Intel-based Macs

An updated Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"Learn how to locate, download, and apply a firmware update to an Intel-based Macintosh computer. Firmware updates can be found at Apple Downloads or by choosing Software Update from the Apple menu."

Products

AnyDrive USB 2.0 Adapter Connects IDE, SATA Drives to USB Port

PR: The XLR8 AnyDrive allows you to connect any IDE or SATA drive your Mac or PC via USB 2.0! No drive closure need. Simply plug-in and copy. With large, colorful status lights, this self-contained unit supports up to 480 Mbits/sec throughput, for full size or half-size IDE and SATA drives.

XLR8 AnyDriveCopy, backup to any loose drive!

AnyDrive is natural for any tech kit . . . its low price with support for Mac and PC allows, any tech to have the flexibility to connect any drive at any time!

With large, colorful status lights, this self-contained unit supports up to 480 Mbits/sec throughput, for full size or half-size IDE and SATA drives.

The XLR8 AnyDrive USB Adapter supports connections to any IDE 2.5" or 3.5" drive. It also supports all sizes of SATA drives. Users can connect the AnyDrive USB Adapter to any drive, then backup, copy or recover to their Mac or Windows based system. Any loose drive can be connected. No extra drivers are required for the Mac. Daystar includes a CD with Windows XP drivers for use on a Windows based system.

The device is fully USB 2.0 compatible and supports up to 480 Mbits/sec transfer rates. The power supply is auto switching from 100v to 240v.

The XLR8 AnyDrive includes the AC Power Adapter, USB Drive Adapter, additional Flex connector cable (for hard to get to connectors). It also includes large status lights, instructions and CD drivers for Windows XP support .

$24.95

Tango Express FireWire 800/USB Adapter for PCI Express

PR: Sonnet Technologies announces the immediate availability of Tango Express 800, its latest PCI Express (PCIe) adapter card for Mac Pro, Dual Core Power Mac G5, Xserve, and Windows computers. Tango Express 800 is a combo FireWire 800/USB 2.0 adapter card that adds support for the fastest FireWire and USB multimedia peripherals through its full-bandwidth, powered ports.

Tango Express 800Tango Express 800 features three FireWire 800 (1394b) ports and three USB 2.0 ports (2 external plus 1 internal, each), and supports all standard FireWire 800, FireWire 400 (1394a), and USB 2.0/1.1 peripherals. Tango Express 800 delivers the maximum data transfer speeds for the fastest FireWire and USB multimedia devices, satisfying the high-bandwidth demands of video and pro-audio applications. The Sonnet card also provides support for hot-swappable device connection and simultaneous low-, full-, and hi-speed devices. An added benefit for Mac users, Tango Express 800 supports FireWire target disk mode.

Compatibility

  • Mac Pro
  • Power Mac G5 (with PCI Express slots)
  • Xserve (with PCI Express slots)
  • PC with PCI Express slot
  • Mac OS X Version 10.4.10 and later
  • Windows XP with SP2
  • Windows Vista

Tango Express 800 (part number FW8USB2-E) is available now for the suggested retail price of $119.95.

Cases to Protect Apple Keyboards

keyboard casesPR: WaterField Designs announces two new compact Keyboard Cases to protect Apple's new, ultra-thin, wireless keyboard. The minimalist Keyboard Sleeve safeguards just the keyboard, while the Travel Case protects the keyboard and additional laptop accessories. Both are available in six eye-catching colors. Slip the wireless keyboard into its own Sleeve or stash it in a Travel Case with other laptop gear.

keyboard caseWaterField Designs announces two new compact Keyboard Cases to protect Apple's new, ultra-thin, wireless keyboard. The minimalist Keyboard Sleeve safeguards just the keyboard, while the Travel Case protects the keyboard and additional laptop accessories.

keyboard caseThe Wireless Keyboard Sleeve is cushioned with high-grade neoprene, snaps shut at the top, and comes in either Short for the ultra-thin wireless keyboard or Long for the ultra-thin wired keyboard. The Sleeve is wrapped in a water-resistant shell that is available in six eye- catching colors. A slip-resistant, rubberized base provides a sure grip.

keyboard caseThe Keyboard Travel Case is designed to hold the wireless keyboard and other mobile laptop gear. The interior custom-fitted compartments slot the keyboard, the mouse, the power supply, and the power cord. Soft, padded lining keeps the items protected, and self-locking zippers ensure the contents don't spill out accidentally. An outside front pocket with smaller mesh separators stores additional items. Both Keyboard Cases can be stowed in a briefcase or carryon, and can be easily retrieved when needed.

"The Keyboard Travel Case stays thin even when it's full of gear so it doesn't take up much valuable real estate in my bag," said owner Gary Waterfield. "Bags do well at carrying slender items, but poorly at carrying chunky items. That's why we design our accessory cases to remain slim."

The Keyboard Sleeve and Travel case will begin shipping next week from www.sfbags.com . Both are available now for pre-order.

  • The Keyboard Sleeve - Short (for the wireless): $37. Dimensions: 12" x 4.8". Weight: 5 oz.
  • The Keyboard Sleeve - Long (for the wired): $39. Dimensions: 17.5" x 5.2". Weight: 7 oz.
  • The Keyboard Travel Case: $49. Dimensions: 12.3" x 5.3" x 1.9". Weight: 7 oz.

Each case is available in: Black, Blue, Brown, Green, Red, or Silver.

WaterField Designs manufactures custom-fitted, high-quality cases and bags for a full-range of laptop computers, cameras, and other digital gear. All products are manufactured to exacting standards in San Francisco.

Third Generation Fujitsu ScanSnap Scanners for Macintosh

PR: Advanced paper handling, searchable PDF capability, improved Quick Menu with enhanced functionality and new software bundling Spotlight Fujitsu ScanSnap S510M.

Fujitsu ScanSnap S510MFujitsu Computer Products of America, Inc. has introduced the third generation model of its award-winning Fujitsu ScanSnap scanning solution for Macintosh users. The Fujitsu S510M scanner comes equipped with enhanced functionality for searchable PDF creation, advanced paper handling of delicate documents, added filing sheets and a new Quick Menu interface for ease-of-use in controlling scanned documents. Additionally, the new Fujitsu S510M scanner comes bundled with new software to enable users to create searchable portable document format (PDF) files with one touch of a button, as well as offering advanced commenting and collaboration features for PDF documents.

New to Mac users, the Fujitsu ScanSnap S510M scanner now comes bundled with ABBYY FineReader 3.0 for ScanSnap, a custom-built optical character recognition (OCR) software application based on ABBYY's award-winning recognition technology. The FineReader software is seamlessly integrated with ScanSnap, giving one of the fastest, most powerful desktop scanning solutions even more functionality and flexibility. Using ABBYY FineReader software for ScanSnap, users can convert documents into editable and searchable PDFs, all with the push of a button. Additionally, with bundled Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional, ScanSnap boasts flexible editing features including commenting and markup capabilities for advanced collaboration.

With the improved interface on the ScanSnap S510M, users gain even more control over scanned documents: easily attach scans directly to e-mail, save scans to selectable folders or send scans directly to a printer in place of a photocopier. This functionality comes at no cost to the simplicity and ease-of-use for which the line of ScanSnap scanning solutions is recognized.

"Mac users have been so gracious with their endorsements and support of the Fujitsu ScanSnap line for Macintosh computers over the years and we're just elated by the relationships we've been able to build with this community," said Victor Kan, vice president of sales and marketing, Imaging Products Group, Fujitsu Computer Products of America, Inc. "The scanner has achieved great success and continues to serve as a crucial business tool among Mac users. The successful rollout to this community, combined with our close relationship in understanding their needs, has continued to fuel Fujitsu in creating quality iterations, with features and functionalities that mirror the design and feature rich aspects central to the Mac community."

Supporting Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger™ and Intel or PowerPC based computers, the S510M maintains its sleek design, with a form factor smaller then a laptop or letter-size piece of paper, and continues to offer industry-leading speeds of up to 18 pages per minute (ppm) for single-sided documents and 36 images per minute (ipm) for double-sided documents. With its robust 50- page automatic document feeder (ADF), the S510M is designed to handle a wide variety of paper sizes from business cards to legal length. Additionally, the new "Carrier Sheet" functionality permits the feeding of a delicate, folded, or A3 sized document.

Built on the success of its predecessor, the ScanSnap S510M, will incorporate the same innovative features and functionalities that have been well-received by the Mac community, including:

  • 50-page automatic document feeder
  • High optical resolution up to 600dpi
  • Space saving compact design (only 6.2x11.2x6.2 inches - smaller footprint than a laptop computer)
  • Dual 600dpi color CCD optical array for scanning both sides of a page
  • Automatic color detection
  • Automatic blank page detection and deletion
  • Automatic paper size detection
  • Automatic image deskew
  • Integrated, power-saving automatic document-feed cover
  • "Always On" Fujitsu ScanSnap Manager software
  • USB 2.0 support

In addition to the new Adobe Acrobat and ABBYY FineReader software bundling, Fujitsu will continue to offer customers the ability to incorporate optical character recognition (OCR) and business card reader functionality into their ScanSnap S510M applications with a mail-in rebate to receive free copies of Readiris™ Pro v11(full) software and Cardiris™ 3.5(full) software from I.R.I.S. Group.

Readiris Pro 11 software quickly exports documents into formats such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and HTML. Designed for speed and accuracy, Readiris Pro 11 is the ideal tool to edit, save and share text that was previously on paper or locked in a PDF or an image. Cardiris 3.5 software transforms business cards into editable information and can import contacts from external databases, export contacts to other contact managers and even synchronize them. In just a few clicks users can digitize their paper-based rolodex and update the content of their electronic address book directly in their favorite contacts manager such as Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express personal information management software, ACT! contact management software, Palm OS operating system, Lotus Notes software and GoldMine software.

Fujitsu ScanSnap S510M - Scanning Made Simple

The Fujitsu ScanSnap S510M provides the Mac community customers with a powerful, affordable, and easy-to-use color scanner that allows business professionals to quickly convert paper documents to Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files that are easily organized, shared and better protected. It is one of the highest speed, single-pass duplex ADF scanners available today that address the Apple community's document imaging needs.

The Fujitsu ScanSnap scanning solution's low-price, small foot print, ease of use and exceptional functionality make it the ideal document management solution for small- and mid-sized offices, as well as for distributed scanning in large office environments. The ScanSnap scanner's "one-button" approach eliminates elaborate scanning applications and cumbersome driver interfaces. In addition, its "always on" convenience, connectivity, and amazingly small footprint allows the scanner to sit comfortably aside the business professional in the office.

Pricing and Rebate Information

The Fujitsu ScanSnap S510M is now available for $495 through the Fujitsu website, via mail order catalogs, and via Fujitsu authorized resellers including, CDW, CDWG, Dell, Insight, and PCMall.

To receive the free copies of Readiris™ Pro v11 software and Cardiris™ 3.5 software from I.R.I.S. Group for ScanSnap S510M applications, download the mail in rebate form on the Fujitsu Computer Products of America website or contact one of the Fujitsu authorized resellers.

The Fujitsu Service Advantage

The Fujitsu ScanSnap S510M scanner comes standard with a 1-year depot limited warranty. Additionally, the Advance Exchange™ service offering, the Fujitsu overnight replacement program, provides the customer a replacement scanner prior to shipment of any malfunctioned scanner back to Fujitsu. The Advance Exchange offering for the ScanSnap scanner is offered as an upgrade during the limited warranty period for only $59 or on a yearly basis post- warranty for only $99 at point of sale or $159 after sale (contract and agreement required for replacement unit).

For more information about Fujitsu services, contact a Fujitsu distribution partner or service sales at 800-301-9475.

OWC Lowers Price on 1-4 GB Memory Upgrades for iMac, MacBook, Mac mini

PR: Other World Computing (OWC) has announced that they have lowered pricing on their 1 GB to 4 GB Memory Modules and Memory Kits for Apple Intel iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini models. OWC's price for a 1 GB Module is less than 1/4th the cost of factory options and the OWC price for a 4 GB Kit is less than 1/4th the cost of a 3 GB factory upgrade option.

The OWC 2 GB Memory Kit (two 1 GB modules) is priced at only $69, offering considerable savings compared to the 1 GB factory option for $150. In addition, OWC's 1 GB Memory Modules are priced at only $34.99, 2 GB Memory Modules at $99, and 4 GB Kits (two 2 GB Modules) at $195.00. With additional memory, Mac users will notice improved performance when using audio/video, photo, 3D modeling and other applications, where the extra memory really makes a difference in their computer's performance.

OWC has sold over half a million memory modules since 1988 and upgrades thousands of new Macs each month. All OWC memory modules feature the highest quality components available on the market, including those from Micron and Samsung, and are fully backed by a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee and a Lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty (vs. other manufacturer's limited 1 year warranty). OWC memory is easily user installable with a FREE online video installation guide.

Wiebetech ToughTech FireWire Enclosure with Anti-Shock Protection

PR: ToughTech is a premium quality drive enclosure meant to make sure your data is safe without sacrificing portability or your wallet, all while ensuring that you'll have all the free disk space you need. ToughTech's aluminum and fanless design also makes it quiet and beautiful. In other words, ToughTech looks great on your desk, performs like a champ and it won't eat your lunch.

Which ToughTech is right for you?

ToughTech comes in three flavors with FireWire and USB or eSATA connections. Choose the ToughTech that's right for you:

ToughTech 400

Good

FireWire 400 enclosure for IDE drives.

Accepts IDE drives

Only sold empty to accommodate users who have their own IDE/PATA drives to install (such as an old internal drive)

ToughTech FS

Better

Triple interface: Two FireWire 400 ports, one USB 2 port, one eSATA port.

Accepts SATA drives

The newest ToughTech, added for a price break for users who don't need FireWire 800.

ToughTech XE

Best

Quadruple interface: Two FireWire 800 ports (backwards compatible to FireWire 400), one USB 2 port, one eSATA port.

Accepts SATA drives

The fastest FireWire makes this the fastest ToughTech.

ToughTech XE - The best of the ToughTech series - This ToughTech has it all! It boasts FireWire 800 (400 compatible), USB 2, and an eSATA connection over a screaming fast Oxford 924 bridge. The ToughTech XE is the all around most connectable, and fastest ToughTech available.

Anyone can use a ToughTech - ToughTech is used by anyone who needs more storage space for backups, music, games, Internet downloads, photography, audio/video editing or server storage; and they use it everywhere from homes to government laboratories.

  • Shock absorbers for your hard drive - Your car has shock absorbers - so why not your hard drive? ToughTech introduces FlexMount Anti-Shock Protection. FlexMount is a shock absorber that mounts between the drive and the enclosure protecting your data against bumps and vibrations.
  • FireWire Fast - FireWire data transfer speeds are up to 800 Mbps (FireWire 800) or 400 Mbps (FireWire 400) and USB data transfer speed of up to 480 Mbps. For maximum performance, FireWire 800 is recommended. Most computers already have FireWire ports, but if you don't yet have FireWire ports on your laptop or desktop computer, check out CDB-8, TC-E34-2FW and pci-12 - products to upgrade to FireWire.
  • ToughTech is cool - ToughTech has an all aluminum design meant to draw heat away from the hard drive. The entire product acts like a heat dissipater, helping to keep your drive cool. And because it doesn't need a fan, ToughTech is quiet.
  • Plug and Play - ToughTech works out of the box with no new drivers needed. Additional FireWire devices can be daisy-chained through ToughTech.
  • Supports Hi-Speed Data Transfer - USB speeds of up to 480 Mbps, FireWire 400 speeds up to 400 Mbps (TT4, TTFS), FireWire 800 speeds up to 800 Mbps (TTXE), SATA speeds up to 3.0Gbps (TTFS, TTXE).
  • FlexMount Anti-shock Protection - Protects drive from shock and also reduces enclosure noise.
  • Plug and Play - Under Windows XP, Vista, Mac OS X and Linux distributions that support FireWire or SATA (as necessary).
  • Daisy-chainable - ToughTech allows daisy-chaining to attach additional FireWire devices.
  • Aluminum Construction - Provides excellent thermal efficiency.
  • Power Switch - Allows powering enclosure down before disconnecting. Helps prevent port blowouts.

Supports 3.5" hard drives

  • TT4: IDE/PATA (Parallel ATA6 and ATA7) drives - including drives larger than 137 GB
  • TTFS: SATA drives (Serial ATA).
  • TTXE: SATA drives (Serial ATA).

Capacities from 0 GB to 1000 GB starting at $79.95 to $611.95

Software

Mailplane Brings Gmail to Your Mac Desktop

PR: You love them both: Your Mac and Gmail, right? But they are both from different worlds and aren't friends, yet. That's where Mailplane comes in to bring them together: Google Mail's superb spam protection, endless storage and global access - and the friendliness of your Mac.

Mailplane

Mailplane developer Ruben Bakker says:

I really love Gmail. It is superior to Outlook and MS Exchange I experience at work: The Outlook Webclient is a joke, I get more spam than normal messages and server space is so limited I constantly must delete messages. But Google Mail beats .mac and OS X Mail.app, too: Mail.app has no conversations, an inferior search, stores everything locally and simply feels less productive than Gmail. With Gmail I can search, read and compose my message from everywhere: Home, Work, Mac, Linux, Windows and even my handset.

But I missed quite a few features that Mail.app and other traditional mail clients offer. Gmail with its browser interface just didn't reach my desktop. For example uploading an attachment involved too many steps: Exporting the image from iPhoto, somehow resizing the picture and then attaching it by using the "Choose file" button.

Last summer, on vacation on the beautiful Island of Corsica, I started to write an iPhoto plugin that was able to automate all manual steps needed to attach a picture to a Gmail message. A few weeks later I gave it to my friends. From their needs and ideas grew Mailplane: A full fledged mail client for Google Mail and Mac OS X.

A desktop app for a webapp?

More and more useful applications are web applications. With some good reasons:

  • They can be accessed from everywhere. More and more people use several computers at once, e.g. work, home, Internet cafe, etc.
  • Collaboration is built in.
  • Updates are performed centrally, no need to install new desktop releases.
  • Data is stored on the server, which is often much more secure than doing it locally.
  • Mac users can use webapps, too! In the old days most applications were for "Windows" only.

But when a webapp is confined to the browser, desktop integration is very much limited. I believe that specialized applications interfacing web applications are needed to make them useful and accessible. iTunes is such an application. Connecting the Music Store to your music library and iPod. iTunes in Safari or Firefox wouldn't cut it, would it?

Why is it called Mailplane? I liked the word, the beauty and power of airplanes and the history behind these specialized aircrafts. It was about time they could fly again. This time on your Mac.

Mailplane features:

  • Attach files - Drag 'n' drop your files and folders to Mailplane and watch them being attached to the message and automatically uploaded.
  • Send optimized Photos - Pictures get automatically resized and optimized to reduce the size of your message.
  • Instantly send Screenshots - Screenshots Need to send a Screenshot? With one click you grab a portion of your screen and attach it to your message.
  • Send Pictures from iPhoto - Mailplane comes with an iPhoto plugin that makes sending picture attachments so easy: select any pictures in iPhoto and then press the email button. That's it.
  • Store Passwords in Keychain - Accounts Add as many Gmail accounts (or Google apps for your domain accounts) as you want and switch between them without restarting Mailplane. And there is no need to enter passwords every two weeks, either. Mailplane stores them safely in the Mac keychain.
  • Download - Download attachments and then reveal them in Finder. If the attachment is a photo or even a ZIP file containing pictures, then you can directly import them to iPhoto.
  • Get Notified - Mailplane lets you know when new mail arrives. By playing a sound, by showing the number of unread messages in the application icon and by the Growl notification system. Plus: Monitor all your accounts with the accounts drawer or the status item.

More Stuff:

  • Full control of Google Mail with your keyboard, by using Mac keystrokes. Access the flexible and customizable toolbar.
  • Send Mail from address book, Safari or any application showing "mailto" urls and more.
  • Talk with your Buddies - If somebody wants to talk, Mailplane shows a Growl notification. The brand-new Google Talk Gadget (displayed inside a separate window) offers some nice features like video and photo preview.

Requirements for the beta are: Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and a Gmail or a "Google Apps" account.

Mailplane is currently a private beta, but will soon be released as $24.95 demoware. There will also be a "family option" for an additional $8 that allows installation on up to 5 computers.

DrawIt 3 Drawing and Illustration for the Mac

PR: DrawIt is not your typical image-editor. It does not fill up your window with lots of pallets you don't use but instead presents with just one simple and clean window. Nevertheless, DrawIt packs an impressive feature-list into this single window. DrawIt is layer-based, has a powerful vector-drawing tool, incredible support for masks and much, much more. Check the feature-list below to discover why DrawIt might be the tool you need.

Ease Of Use - For those of you who are familiar with the iWork applications; you will feel right at home. DrawIt is very easy to use with an interface which first objective is to be useful and understandable, rather than just to provide eye-candy. DrawIt does not fill up your screen with inspectors and other floating windows which you don't need; Everything fits nicely into a single, clean window.

Non-destructive - Everything is non-destructive in DrawIt. By that I mean that I can apply a single filter (for example a Zoom-blur) to a group of layers and still be able tot edit these individual layers. One of these layers can even be a vector layer and it's individual points can still be changed, not matter how many filters I apply to the layer. DrawIt never rasterizes layers unless you specifically tell it to do so.

Even better; you can decide later on that the parameters of the Zoom Blur just have to be a bit different; no problem, a filter can always be edited long after it has been added to the layer. To my knowledge, DrawIt is unique in this aspect and it's one of the killer features which blows away the competition.

Masks - A mask defines which region of an underlying layer is visible. DrawIt is unique in the aspect that it allows one, or multiple layers to form a single mask for one, or a group of underlying layers. Any layer can be used as a mask, so fantastic results can easily be achieved with this technique. New in 3.0 is support for more than 20 blending modes for your masks.

Filters - New in 3.0 is full support for 50+ CoreImage-filters. As always easy-to-use and non-destructive. You can apply as many filters as you wish to a single, or even multiple, layers at once. Filters are an excellent example of what makes DrawIt different from the competition; in other applications you select the filters, press OK and the result replaces the original image. After that, there's no way to change some of the properties. In DrawIt you can do this; the original image is never discarded and the filter-properties can be readjusted at any time.

Groups - A group in DrawIt is just like folder in your Finder, but more powerful. A group of layers can be moved as one, styled as one, and can share single mask. Once a group is created, just double-click the group to enter it, and you can change the layers inside just as you would expect. When you're done click outside the group and the it can again be moved, resized and styles as any other layer.

Find your way round - With support for an unlimited number of nested groups, masks and different overlays, finding your way round might become difficult. But there's no need to worry. Bread-crumbs display exactly where you are now, and lets you easily navigate back in the hierarchy. Second, there's and easy-to-use outline-view which displays every layer in the entire document. Finally there's a nifty too we call Expose which moves every layer temporarily in a grid, ready for you to select one. Try it and you'll love it.

Position - Position will enroll a visual overlay on top of your document: move your mouse over the layers to see their exact position and when you select a layer and move your mouse to another layer you will see the exact distance between the two layers, Perfect for pixel-precise positions, editing and resizing of your layers. Once you've used it, you'll never want live without it again.

Styles - DrawIt lets you define default styles for new objects. For example; you can specify to give each new shape a dark-blue border and let each new image automatically drop a shadow. All of this is customizable in a very easy way. Besides that, you can copy and paste styles between objects with almost zero effort just like you're used to copy text and other objects.

Placeholders - Placeholders allow you to specify placeholder-strings that will automatically be substituted for a given value. You can set DrawIt to ask for certain values when opening a document, like the name of a person, or a certain date which then will automatically be inserted in various places in your document; very useful for invitations, birthday-cards or calendars.

Show the world - DrawIt let's you export to the most commonly used file-formats: .jpg, .tiff, .png and .gif and pdf. You can choose to export the entire image or just a part of it in a very easy and user-friendly way. Besides that, just before exporting you can choose to rotate, scale,flip or apply some effects to the end-result without trouble.

Shapes, no limits - DrawIt comes standard with a large number of ready-to-use and easily customizable special shapes; circles, stars, rounded rectangles and polygons are just a few of the examples which can be added to your document. If one these basic shapes doesn't suffice, you can always create your own; the highly advanced vector-editing tool lets you create paths with lines, curves and sub-paths to let you create anything you like. The only limit is your imagination.

Much more - We haven't even discussed the large amount of image-formats DrawIt supports, the excellent handling of text and fonts, easy-to-use gradients, patterns and much, much more. But we've not finished yet, more will certainly come, so this feature-list will only grow. If there's anything you're missing; drop us a line.

You can try DrawIt for free for 15 days, or you can buy a license for $49.

Outlook on CrossOver Mac 6.2 Significant Faster for Leopard

PR: CodeWeavers, Inc., a leading developer of software products that transform Mac OS X and Linux into Windows-compatible operating systems, has announced the release of CrossOver Mac 6.2 and CrossOver Linux 6.2, both available for purchase starting October 2, 2007.

CodeWeavers debuted the widely acclaimed CrossOver Mac and CrossOver Linux 6.0 this past January, followed by 6.1 in May.

CrossOver Mac 6.2 users running Outlook on Mac Leopard can expect a 50 percent increase in speed, on average, over CrossOver Mac 6.1. "We are excited to be providing an upgrade that means faster and more robust performance for Outlook users. We remain committed to making CrossOver the finest solution for running Outlook on other operating systems, particularly in corporate environments," said Jeremy White, CodeWeavers' chief executive officer. "Frankly, this speed increase comes courtesy of Apple Computer, as we worked with them to identify and implement a fix in Leopard that helps our core compatibility technology - Wine - run to its full potential."

Another major benefit conveyed through the upgrade is the fact that both the Mac and Linux versions of CrossOver 6.2 will support Valve Software's newly released Team Fortress II. "We're thrilled to be the only compatibility software on the market that will support Team Fortress II, out of the box, " said Jeremy White, CodeWeavers' chief executive officer. "Not only that, but gamers will find that CrossOver delivers much better frame rates in our supported game titles than other emulation solutions."

To help convey the gaming advantages of its 6.2 versions, CodeWeavers has prepared a web video comparing the experiences of those gamers using CrossOver versus its competitors VMware and Parallels.

CodeWeavers is also offering a launch promotion: A 10% discount through October 31, 2007 for all customers who order the 6.2 version over the Internet and enter a special deal code of "zomg".

Popular windows applications supported by CrossOver Mac 6.2 include Microsoft Office (including native Outlook Exchange Server connectivity), Visio and Project; Intuit Quicken and QuickBooks, and Half-Life 2.

Popular windows applications supported by CrossOver Linux 6.2 include Microsoft Office, Outlook, Visio, and Internet Explorer; Adobe's Photoshop, Macromedia's Dreamweaver, Intuit's Quicken and QuickBooks, and Lotus Notes. Games supported include World of Warcraft and Call of Duty 2.

CrossOver Mac is priced at roughly one-quarter the cost of a Windows license, allowing Mac users to economically and legally circumvent the need for Windows. The updated versions of CrossOver for Mac and Linux are available online and in many retail outlets in North America, via distribution through Navarre, Douglas Stewart Co., Atlantia, and others.

New in version 6.2:

Mac OS X specific changes:

  • Added a dock presence for running Applications. This provides some Mac-like interfaces for applications, including the activation of apps and quitting via the dock. There is rudimentary systray support, but this only provides notification services - tray-based menus are still unavailable.
  • Fixed the chronic regeneration of application icons. These should be produced less frequently and at more appropriate times.
  • Fixed association upgrade behavior so that documents opened via their extensions should now be referred to the corresponding application rather than opened directly by CrossOver.
  • Dramatic improvements in performance on OSX Leopard
  • Improved 'Star Map' performance in EVE Online on some graphic setups.
  • Improved timezone support.
  • Fixed intermittent display update failures in several apps.
  • Added DirectSound support. This should fix the audio in EVE Online.
  • Added preliminary MIDI support (which may or may not work.)
  • Improved audio input - support mismatched sample rates.
  • Fixed the icons for documents associated with Windows programs.
  • Improved support for Korean keyboard layouts.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented Wine programs from finding all available fonts.

New application support:

  • Added support for Team Fortress 2 via Steam

Application fixes:

  • Fixed Outlook encryption regressions.
  • Fixed printing from Delphi apps
  • More time-zone fixes for Outlook
  • Fixed 'advanced edit' of Outlook signatures
  • Fixed font rendering in several apps, including Quicken 2007
  • Dramatic improvement in Outlook 2003, particularly when it is installed without Internet Explorer. Many more features are now available.
  • Fixed support for Flash Player 9.
  • Many small bugfixes and improvements in stability.
  • Fixes for printing to printers without default fonts
  • Fixes to structure storage files to correct corruptions
  • Ejection of DVDs now works
  • Improvement in TreeView control behavior
  • Improved Mac IME integration allowing for Korean, Atok and Ebridge input
  • Comctr32.dll reports correct version
  • Many fixes to the behavior and location of the default IME input window
  • Saving files with IE now properly complete in multibyte locales.

System requirements: Intel Mac

A Japanese version of CrossOver 6.2 will also be available from CodeWeavers exclusive Japanese distributor, NetJapan in early October, 2007.

AOL Introduces AOL Desktop for Mac

PR: Leopard-ready AOL integrated software designed exclusively for the Mac platform offers fast load time, AIM integration, new mailbox and customization features. AOL Desktop for Mac will be Leopard-ready, load within seconds, and offer users a fully-integrated and customizable experience, including tabbed browsing, AIM integration, planned support for multiple email accounts, and enhanced toolbar functionality.

AOL has announced that it has released the first public beta of the new AOL Desktop for Mac. The all new Mac application will be Leopard-ready, load within seconds, and offer users a fully-integrated and customizable experience, including tabbed browsing, AIM integration, planned support for multiple email accounts, and enhanced toolbar functionality.

"AOL Desktop for Mac reinvigorates the AOL experience on the Mac platform," said Steve Murphy, Senior Vice President, Software Applications, AOL. "We've created this new software to specifically appeal to our Mac users, and are excited to offer them a fully-integrated online experience that is intuitive, modern, and light on the desktop."

The new release marks the first major update to AOL's integrated software for the Mac in more than five years, and follows recent updates to AOL for Mac products, including the AOL Service Assistant and AOL Radio for Mac.

Key features of the new AOL Desktop for Mac include:

  • Fast Load Time: AOL® Desktop for Mac launches within seconds and enables users to begin browsing immediately, without signing in to the software.
  • Tabbed Navigation: Tabbed browser and AIM® windows offer easy access to content, and an uncluttered, organized view of all open windows.
  • Additional Email Options: A streamlined AOL Mail experience allows users to send and receive messages using multiple email accounts, including Apple Mac addresses, Gmail, Verizon and more from one Inbox.
  • AIM Integration: AIM is built in to the software, so users can view Buddies online, chat, and more while checking their email or browsing the Web.
  • Customizable Toolbar: An easy-to-use customizable toolbar gives users quick access to their favorite sites.
  • Premiere Safety and Security: AOL Desktop for Mac is backed by AOL's host safety protections, including spam filters; mail and IM blocking capabilities; and blocking of known phishing sites.

In addition to making the first beta version of AOL Desktop for Mac available today, AOL has also launched the new Mac@AOL blog to provide an open forum to discuss, debate and ask questions about AOL software designed specifically for the Mac.

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